Thursday, July 14, 2011

A New Day in Transportation

Sunrise on Route 87
A new state five-year highway construction program was approved yesterday by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission -- or, at least, half of one.

The new program is only half the size of recent years, at $600 million. That sounds like a great deal of money to many of us, but the average program has been $1.2 billion. With funding cut in half, Missourians will see a difference in the transportation upon which they depend.

"We'll continue to honor our commitments and maintain the condition of our roads and bridges to the best of our ability for as long as we can," said MoDOT Director Kevin Keith. "But without additional resources our system will eventually get worse."

We're focused on delivering commitments that have been promised, which means keeping major highways in good condition, improving smaller state roads and keeping up with bridge repairs and maintenance. We're cutting internal costs with our Bolder Five-Year Direction and putting all resources available to road and bridge maintenance.

Is that the answer? No. It's only a temporary fix. A long-term funding solution is needed in order to address economic development opportunities, deliver improvements or replace major bridges.

What funding solution would you support for Missouri?